Lifestyle

Bloomin’ wonderful – 10 perfect flowers to brighten up your summer garden

Leonie Cornelius picks her favorite summer garden flowers and what we need to know about them.

1. The evergreen staple – creeping rosemary

If you’re not sure where to start in the garden when it comes to planting, one of my favorite evergreens of all time is the creeping rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis (Prostratus group). This beautiful creeping variety of the well-known herb is one of the most versatile plants for so many plans. From romantic to modern and wild, this plant has it all – evergreen structure, fragrance, pretty blue flowers loved by bees, and it can even be used in the kitchen.

Position: full sun

Floor: Well drained soil.

heyday: April to June.

Resilience: Frost hardy (winter protection may be needed in colder areas).

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Amethyst-leaved fescue

2. Invite some texture in – fescue grass with amethyst leaves

Ornamental grasses bring every scheme together and there is a grass for every need. Right now I’m in love with the low growing semi-evergreen grass Festuca amethystina. It’s a pretty little tufted grass that lends itself to many plans. The purple tinted branches of the seedheads are beautifully combined with gravel garden plants such as lavender, sage and stachys (lamb’s ear), all of which take on the silvery-blue color of Festuca foliage.

Position: full sun

Floor: Well drained soil.

heyday: June to July.

Resilience: Totally hardy.

3. Bring the butterflies – Buddleia

The Buddleja is a beautiful shrub that will literally be covered in butterflies during its flowering period. It’s also wonderful when paired with other butterfly-friendly flowers like salvia and knautia. It can be invasive in urban areas and needs a little maintenance to keep it from getting out of hand; Topping it off in the spring will not only produce many more flowers, but will also help avoid self-seeding of the shrubs into other gardens. the Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’ is a stunning deep purple and there are great dwarf varieties like ‘Flutterby’ for containers in smaller spaces.

Position: Full sun or partial shade.

Floor: Fertile, well-drained soil.

heyday: July to September.

Resilience: Totally hardy.

4. The eye-catcher Iris chrysographs

My favorite iris is bred in Gorey by Orla and Paul at Kilmurry Nursery. I have used their beautiful, rich, almost black variety of Chrysographes iris in various show gardens over the years and they are absolutely beautiful. The velvety purple-black flowers appear in June-July; perfect in full sun or part shade combined with grasses and geraniums.

Position: Full sun or partial shade.

Floor: Fertile, well-drained soil.

heyday:
June to July.

Resilience: Totally hardy.

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The Hellebore flowers are beautiful and can be the highlight of the conservatory

5. Interesting for the whole year – the Hellebore

I love this plant for so many reasons. It gives me almost as much pleasure as the dahlia in terms of flowering and that’s saying something, but this one is at its best in the dead of winter. The evergreen leaves are structurally stunning for most locations – even in the shade – and will bring rich greenery to any corner of the garden. The flowers are also beautiful, the highlight of the conservatory, with their many open and filled blossoms. My current favorite is this one Helleborus × hybridus ‘Harvington’ Double Pink, with its flowers like a ballerina’s tutu.

Position: penumbra.

Floor: All moist, neutral to alkaline soils, including heavy soils.

heyday: February to April.

Resilience: frost hardy.

6. The beautiful fruit bush – blueberries

If you’re short on space in the garden for planting fruit and want to add something that also works visually, blueberries make beautiful plants with a wonderful shrub shape and stunning fall color. I love to include them in an acid loving scheme for their leaf shape and rich reds in fall. The bonus is the delicious and healthy fruit. Plant ‘Bluecrop’ for a large shrub or a smaller one like ‘BerryBux’ for containers.

Position: full sun

Floor: Prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Use ericaceous soil in a pot.

Resilience: Totally hardy.

7. For Garden Perfume – Mexican Orange Blossom

One of the most valuable plants in the modern garden is the splendor Choisya × dewitteana “Aztec Pearl” – the Mexican orange blossom. The waxy evergreen leaves make this a wonderful shrub for the formal garden, but it also works well with looser schemes. The scent is just as precious—that rich, decadent orange blossom scent. I like to combine this with other white or pale pink flowering shrubs like Sarcococca and Philadelphia, climbing roses and white scented daffodils. Planted under with some evergreen grasses, this is the perfect simple perfume garden.

Position: Full sun or partial shade.

Floor: Fertile, well-drained soil.

heyday: May (sometimes they get a second bonus flush!).

Resilience: Totally hardy.

8th. Color for Shadows – Foxglove

Foxglove is one of the most famous native Irish flowers available for the garden. A dreamy complement to the partially shaded border, this flower’s many soft pastel shades will free seed in the right conditions. Plant with some dreamy astrantia, gaura and verbena for some serious wow in the sun or pair it with the arching grasses of Japanese Forest Grass – Hakonechloa macra – for a modern take on a mottled shadow corner.

Position: Cool, moist environment in sun or partial shade.

Floor: Moist, humus-rich soil.

heyday: August to September.

Resilience: Totally hardy.

9. The diva plants – dahlias

For many of us, our gardens just wouldn’t be complete without the incredible abundance of dahlia blooms. While they do take a bit of practice to grow well (snails love them as much as we do!) and have some fussy needs, the stunning buds on this beautiful plant are well worth the effort. While the huge blooms often cause us to become obsessed with these flowers, remember that the open-eyed cultivars like ‘Famoso’ are best for bees.

Position: full sun

Floor: Fertile, humus rich soil.

heyday: July to September.

Resilience: Semi-hard (may require winter protection).

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Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna

10 Rediscover an indigenous person – the hawthorn

One of my favorite shrubs to plant is the hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna. It has so many benefits in the garden: a vibrant sanctuary for wildlife and a valuable source of flowers and berries. I love them as specimen trees – their shape is pleasingly architectural and they are easy to shape, but they also make wonderful hedges in larger spaces where their sharp thorns can act as a natural deterrent to intruders.

Position: Full sun or partial shade.

Floor: Any floor – not too wet.

heyday: To be allowed to.

Resilience: Totally hardy.

https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/gardens/bloomin-wonderful-10-perfect-flowers-to-brighten-your-summer-garden-41456080.html Bloomin’ wonderful – 10 perfect flowers to brighten up your summer garden

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